The Guardian reported yesterday that one of the UK’s largest food suppliers suggests a no-deal Brexit, which is currently a real possibility due to a lack of political agreement both within the UK and with the EU, would lead to meat shortages like those seen during the world wars. In order to help avoid this, Bidfood UK have spoken with customers about switching to meat-free dishes as an alternative.
Bidfood UK, who coincidentally just unveiled their extensive vegan menu for Christmas, are the sole provider of catering to UK prisons, and also supply schools and hospitals amongst others. In anticipation of border delays and the surrounding chaos that is likely to take place this coming March, Bidfood have spoken with their clients about changing their menus to offer vegetarian and vegan options instead of meat, reports the Economic Correspondent for the Guardian.
At this point in proceedings, with only six months until the UK is due to leave the EU and no agreement in place, several firms across different markets are preparing for worst case scenarios – a cancellation of trade deals between the UK and mainland Europe. A possible collapse of the pound would raise business costs and there would also be a shortage of workers from the UK.
Another serious issue would be that surrounding the British ports and transport of deliveries. “A lot of meat products like chicken in the UK come from Holland and Poland, so, could you look at more non-meat dishes, vegan or vegetarian options?” said Andrew Selley, chief executive of Bidfood UK. He described that his company had begun to stockpile food and drink and were having to consider cutting down on meat.
The article notes that the possible outcomes of a “hard Brexit” are reminiscent of Britain during WW2, when the government encouraged families to bake vegetable pies as rations of meat were low. It also notes that roughly half of all food consumed in the UK last year came from abroad, with almost a third arriving from the EU.
What will take place between the UK and Europe in March, not even the government knows at this point. But enforced reducitarianism, however you see it, is a possible outcome of the situation, and it will have a definite impact on the companies we report on here at vegconomist. Watch this vegan space…